Changing Lives, One by One
"I like the Kelley School environment—it’s very stimulating and dynamic. My students are creative and active members of the classroom. The main reason I come to work every day is this interaction with my students."
Clinical Assistant Professor of Business Economics
Many young women have boardroom aspirations, and Kelley School faculty member Elham Mafi-Kreft is working hard to get them there.
A clinical assistant professor in the school’s Department of Business Economics and Public Policy (BEPP), Mafi-Kreft is excited to take part in the Kelley School’s annual Young Women’s Institute. The week-long event, held in two sessions every June, is designed to help high-achieving high school girls from around the United States discover the world of business and their place in it.
“These are truly outstanding girls, just brilliant, and I’ll be showing them the BEPP major, what is required, where they can work, what they can do with this career—just the big picture,” says Mafi-Kreft.
She’s a great role model. A native of Paris, France, Mafi-Kreft came to the United States as an exchange student during her undergraduate college days. She says she “fell in love” with the American educational system, and went on to earn her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in economics. (She also fell in love with her husband, Steven Kreft, himself a member of the BEPP faculty.)
A scholar of monetary institutions such as the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve and their effect on a nation’s economy, Mafi-Kreft was a visiting researcher at the University of Bonn—Germany’s ZEI Center for European Integration Studies in 2004. Before coming to IU in 2006, she served on the faculty of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology as an assistant professor of economics.
She has clearly found her place in the business world, and that’s as a teacher and mentor. “I like the Kelley School environment—it’s very stimulating and dynamic. My students are creative and active members of the classroom. The main reason I come to work every day is this interaction with my students.” Mafi-Kreft ensures her students are gaining the skills that employers want. By working closely with the school’s Undergraduate Career Services office she is in touch with real-world professionals and incorporates the skills they need into her classes.
Mafi-Kreft knows first-hand the influence that amazing teachers can have on students. “I’m where I am today because of the people I met as a student,” she recalls. “One professor truly changed my life. Maybe someday I’ll change someone’s life.”
From a parent's perspective, what is special about the Kelley School?
"The staff and faculty are really dedicated to students," she said. "We respect them and are individually striving to be the best we can be in order to give them the best education."